door strikerWhether or not you are replacing the door or just the handle, if the latch doesn’t line up with the strike plate, you have some decisions to make.

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If you have replaced the door and all that is wrong is that the latch doesn’t align, I would just move the strike plate. If the door is binding along the frame, you will need to adjust it which may fix the problem anyway.

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Most people find this problem just by replacing the door handle and lockset. It is a very easy and quick fix. The adjustment will be with the strike plate only. Don’t even attempt to play with the handle or lockset…just stick with the strike.

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Get eye level with the latch and partially close the door until the latch contacts the strike plate. Make pencil lines somewhere on the jamb that shows the level of the latch. Open the door back up and take note to where the strike needs to be moved in relation to the marks on the jamb. It is likely only an eighth of an inch or so. If it distance is really small, you can use a metal file and file away the area on the strike. Otherwise, remove the strike, pre-drill the holes and reinstall it so that the hole in the strike matches up with the marks on the jamb. You may need to fill in the old holes with a golf tee and glue or the screw may wander back into the old location.

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